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AaronWIlson

What do I say to a buddy about this situation

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So I have a friend who has been learning AoS, slowly but surely. I've been speaking to him as his learn't and he's enjoyed it to a point so far, he's struggled with the lack of real balance in some battletomes (He plays KO, which really doesn't help).

Yesterday evening he played against Stormcast, with 4 ballistas, comet, gavriel, evocator blob blob etc etc. He screened his army round one, his oppenent then deep strike his cleared his chaff got the double turn and tabled him turn 2. He sat for there for around 50 minutes taking all his models off the table, he's not a super happy bunny. I normally ask people what they think they could of done differently or to try to consoul them but I'm a bit helpless.

The power level disrepetency between KO & SCE is so very big paired with I don't know what he could actually do any different in the game. Any help?

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The only advice I could give would be to play in a more relaxed environment, without players having obvious WAAC lists.

Maybe a Path to Glory campaign, or an escalation league?

Edited by Yokai
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First up  getting table isn't fun for anyone and it can knock people out of the hobby (and in truth its not actually "as" fun to table your opponent as some might think - its cool for a bit but gets old fast when you realise that there's 0 effort and challenge).

 

That said EVERYONE gets tabled more than once in their life. Bad dice, bad balance, odd rule combo, just utter bad choices and luck etc... So the first step might be to console them with tales of your own tabling. Of times when you've been utterly crushed and defeated and just had to go "yeah you played well and beat me totally!" 

In the moment the best is to make sure they stick to good sportsmanship; shaking hands at the end etc... All those little things that are important to maintain even when the enemy is slaughtering you.

Another coping method is to stop looking at the army and look at the combats. I've had fun even when being beaten because I'm going to make sure my 5 surviving genestealers take down that captain that just called in obliteration on the rest of the army - et c.... The little fun battles. Ergo if the big picture is lost accept it a bit and focus on the smaller fights for the fun and challenge.

 

 

 

Another aspect is to get them to try different lists, different opponents and to also not lose hope. Most people lose more than they win at the start and sometimes one makes a series of mistakes or choices that play right into the enemy perfectly. So chin up and push on - review what happened; understand it and then build for the future. And sometimes balance is such that you prepare yourself for utter defeat or have the experience to say "Hey that's a great army you've got there and I know that its really powerful against mine; no seriously I've got little to no hope. Feel like changing it up a bit so that the game is more a challenge?" You've not asked the opponent to weaken their army; just to change it up 

 

Edit - also beginners often fair better with smaller battles. 500-1000 points. It cuts down on options, but it also cuts down on confusion and mixing up of too many things. It helps them focus on learning the flow and mechanics of the game without letting either side have powerful combos as often. 

Sometimes its also good to break up newbies with painting and assembling evenings. Instead of always gaming and competing, focus on teaching them new painting skills and modelling skills. Reinforce other areas of the hobby not just the battle. 

Edited by Overread
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Honestly that sounds more like the problem with the other player rather than a lack of balance- assuming the stormcast player knew he was playing a newbie, he really should have considered not taking the double turn there, to give your friend a bit more of a sporting chance. Do you know the stormcast player well enough to have a quiet word? 

 

As as for your friend, I think the advice above is great. Additionally, you could also use it as a learning exercise if he’s up for talking tactics- if he faced that same army again, how could he deploy or position his stuff differently to make the double turn hurt less, or reduce the impact of that first charge. If it’s not obvious, you could do a mock game with some proxies to work out what might work best. 

Personally I find double turns always difficult with kharadrons, as they benefit massively from them, whilst finding them super punishing if your opponent gets one in charge range. I tend to start with as many bodies in ships as possibleto finish deploying first- if I can chose who starts then I’ll generally opt to go second, then keep opting to go second if I win the roll off until I’m sure I can get the best from the double turn. But they are harder to get this right with than most armies.

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My advise would be: get him out of the competetive environment (it‘s destructive especially in this case)

start playing narrative games with the matched play rules. Ban named characters

 

——-> suddenly the games are relaxed, interesting, challenging and they‘re a lot of fun.

most importantly: You can play units you like the look of without having to worry about their point effectiveness

Edited by JackStreicher
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3 hours ago, Overread said:

That said EVERYONE gets tabled more than once in their life. Bad dice, bad balance, odd rule combo, just utter bad choices and luck etc... So the first step might be to console them with tales of your own tabling. Of times when you've been utterly crushed and defeated and just had to go "yeah you played well and beat me totally!" 

That seems like really good advice. Build some camaraderie.

Was the game supposed to be a friendly or was it at a tournament?

If so, you’ve gotta expect that going in.

If not, for me, if someone is prepared to play with that level of competetiveness against somebody who is new, or in fact anybody who is clearly not prepared for it, then they are not someone I want to play against. I get that people try out tournament lists in friendlies too but if that was the case, your opponent should have said something before the game.

 

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I try never to think in terms of casual/friendly/tournament lists  - it puts attempts to impose a level of context on an army that might or might not be true. This Stormcast opponent could have been going into the game with a "tournament capable list" but only figured that they'd built themselves a good list. Not everyone categorises their lists and not everyone lands upon a working combo by reading tournament lists online or even asking for advice online. 

It is simply an army list that worked really well in this situation. If the stormcast and new player were to play again once more then the KO player could meet the challenge and try to best it; or could request that as its a good proven winning list, perhaps the stormcast player could use something different - not better, worse, weaker, stronger, casual, etc.. - just different. For both variety and new challenge and possibilities . 

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When playing a newbie, I often try to find out what they're bringing and then being an army that's evenly matched/a little weaker than their's, rather than bring the best list I can. There's no glory tabling a much weaker opponent, and most newbies are scratching together a list from what they've got rather than an optimal build. The aim here is not to win one off games but to help develop your future worthy foe.

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Make sure your buddy understands what just happened.

There are several factors in AOS that have to be considered.

Most important is that Stormcast are GW's posterboys. And you just sell what most people want. And that is winning.

So they make sure that Stormcast have the edge in any part of the game. When they came out they were absolutely superior to everyone else exactly how you would expect from a money maker. The starterboxes are proof enough. They are always picked together that Stormcast guarantees a win.

Not that they have better stats only they come with special abilities aginst the opponent in this particular box.

After at least trying to hide the advantages they left any dignity behind and made sure Stormcast excell in shooting and magic as well.

So now you have an army that is top tier in Abilities, Magic, Shooting and fighting. They turned from jack of most trades to master of all trades.

Next thing is, like other before me already commented, it puts his opponent in a very bad light.

This even makes his character questionable. 

 

As an advice for your buddy i would say, we play with plastic toy soldiers here. The main purpose is to have fun TOGETHER.

See all the hilarious things that could happen with dice involved when plastic monster beating the ****** out of each other is the actual win.

Just try to keep him away from competition for now. There are really shady people around who try to mask their low life with boosting

their egos by beating up helpless people.

Just form a little friendly group around him,  where he can pick up the little tricks people have up their sleeves and starts to copy certain patterns

that could lead to more competitive list building.

Until then, JUST HAVE FUN !!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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Not sure why he isn’t playing the Clown Car and waiting for the SCE to drop first. That would at least give him a chance. If he’s not playing Zilfin, then he is tying his hand behind his back - like playing Slaves to Darkness Allegiance when you could play Nurgle or Slaanesh.

If you play a lopsided army like KO - you’re inevitably going to get bad match ups like Nighthaunt etc.. It’s unavoidable.

Edited by Nico
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15 hours ago, AaronWIlson said:

So I have a friend who has been learning AoS, slowly but surely. I've been speaking to him as his learn't and he's enjoyed it to a point so far, he's struggled with the lack of real balance in some battletomes (He plays KO, which really doesn't help).

Yesterday evening he played against Stormcast, with 4 ballistas, comet, gavriel, evocator blob blob etc etc. He screened his army round one, his oppenent then deep strike his cleared his chaff got the double turn and tabled him turn 2. He sat for there for around 50 minutes taking all his models off the table, he's not a super happy bunny. I normally ask people what they think they could of done differently or to try to consoul them but I'm a bit helpless.

The power level disrepetency between KO & SCE is so very big paired with I don't know what he could actually do any different in the game. Any help?

4Ballistas!!

he fought against four ballistas??.

dont you think that’s a bid too much to use against a beginner?

no offense, but that just seems very unfriendly against someone, who is just learning the game.

 

 

Edited by Skreech Verminking
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Making sure each player knows what kind of game eachother wants is an integral part of playing the game.

It could be that stormcast man had played against KO in 1st edition and was expecting to have a crazy hard alpha-strike off against a clown car. I know a lot of my opponents played BCR once 2 years ago when they just started the game and were ready for pure cheese, only to be super surprised when BCR was total garbage and easily tabled.

Ultimately this is on GW to better balance the factions. They've done a great job with most of the factions (especially all the new ones in Nurgle, DoK, IDK, LoN, NH, etc) - but there exists factions that are nerfed into oblivion (KO, BCR) and ones that are just naturally weak without books or options (that they are slowly getting to like Beastmen).

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I assume you've already said this but since there is no specific reference in the OP I'll point out it would be a good point your friend realises it's a super strong list and not just a normal list he lost against.

Sometimes when I get beaten really badly it can help a bit to know that everyone else in my group is struggling against that army. It depersonalises the loss and makes me realise it wasn't entirely my fault.

Of course it's important not to just shift all blame away from yourself and start thinking "oh of course I did nothing wrong, this was all because of the list." Rather you should encourage him to think "ok, so KO struggles against this list. However, what can I do in such a situation to at least put up a fight (and maybe win on objectives)".

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Good comments here but casual play is a bit of a minefield. Might not be really anyones fault. The way I like to play though is to build with the goal of creating great games with the people who I regularly play with. What we try and do is collaboratively create games and armies so that we look at the game and think it could go either way. Once the game starts though, we try to win. (I have been known to lose because I can't not be heroic with my heroes! ?

I applaud your mate for making a Kharadron army because well Kharadron are just plain cool. I think it is also important not to play against people who you don't enjoy playing with. Politely decline to play further if it isn't fun. "No thanks, you are far too good for me..." Then find someone who gives you a good game.

Edited by Greyshadow
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To be clear when I say I've spoke to him when learning etc he's played a few 2k games now and isn't crazy new. All of his other games have been very close and he's said to me if i did this, or this different or had this happened I may have won but this was just very much of a case "i got rolled and have no idea what I can do differently, or how or is it just my tome is super bad compared to SCE" and I can't think of a good constructive answer bar.. yes it is.

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Well the problem with the ko is that the do not have any cheap units, to throw at the enemy.

In other words, if I were you (or your friend) I would probably take a unit of 40dwarf warriors, for 280p, to hold of the enemy from charging your ships .

also against four ballistas, your probably better of putting your ships into deepstrike/reserves (this is a possibility for a KO player, right???? I’m not sure at all)

 

 

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Further to what everyone else has said, I'd ask your friend what it is they enjoy about AOS. If it's the rules then unfortunately they come with imbalance, and always will. GW are very much about mechanics second. It's an imbalanced game unless both sides put effort into making it more equal.  

The thing that makes people who are really good at it really good at it i.e. Major Tournament winners is not just that they can synergise their own list but also counter the synergies of others. But the fact is that for some armies really nasty synergies that are problematic to overcome for most other armies are really easy to put together and incredibly hard to do overcome without the favour of the dice and tons of experience.

If your friend is more the about lore, painting, narrative etc then AOS is obviously unrivalled and has many aspects that cater to that brilliantly and tend to naturally take a different course from competitive games.

If they want to continue to play in a more Matched Play environment then this is a really good example of how imbalanced the game is and how that can feel if you're on the sharp end of it. But also, its a good indicator of how it feels if you ruthlessly pursue winning at all costs to the person on the other side too. 

The number one tip I'd give to anyone in AOS is do what you find interesting and that tends to be it's own reward. If you expect the rules to police things and make it fun or fair you're going to have a shock at some point. I highly recommend anyone who wants to play close competitive wargames to play a system that caters for that, because this ain't it. What it is is still great but much of that lies in narrative creativity and imagination to really be rewarding.  

I take the units I like the look of best or that " play" the most fun because it's just toy soldiers to me. I try to make what I have effective but the ebb and flow of battle is what I hope for, I don't care who wins long as it played out interesting.  Given I play with both sides swapping lists beforehand I just wouldn't have played this guy your friend did I don't think. Would have either ended up as their game did or it would have failed and he would have just been stomped. Tedious either way. I'm not interested in modelling an encounter of soldiers charging a gun line on either side. Not exactly Hannibal at Canae is it. But for the same reason I wouldnt attend anything but a tournament well regarded for its sportsmanship as you're going to encounter stuff like that in competitive circles just by virtue of what competition is.

 

Edited by Nos
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KO can't compete with other meta-armies. So talk with your oponent before playing.

We can have really nice and fun matches, but only if the other player don't use t-1 alphas/charge, -1/-2/-3 shooting buffs, big blob resummoning with over-protected heroes, etc...

Everything else is a fun match to play that don't force us to play Clown Car.

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1 hour ago, Skreech Verminking said:

Well the problem with the ko is that the do not have any cheap units, to throw at the enemy.

In other words, if I were you (or your friend) I would probably take a unit of 40dwarf warriors, for 280p, to hold of the enemy from charging your ships .

also against four ballistas, your probably better of putting your ships into deepstrike/reserves (this is a possibility for a KO player, right???? I’m not sure at all)

 

 

can't they ally with some races?

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My main advice would be play smaller games to start with, 1000pts or even 500pts limits the amount of cheese that can be brought to the table and makes combos and battalions harder to pull off. A cheese list at 1000pts is usually dedicated to just one tactic and if you can spot it early enough you can often subvert it.

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One further thought to consider.

Sometimes when people introduce others to the game they try to help a newer person by losing games deliberately to that player. This might mean taking a very weak and poorly composed army and/or playing the game in a very sloppy/poor fashion. This giving the other player a really easy time in winning the match. 

DON'T do this. 

It's a bad idea for a few reasons:

1) Monkey see monkey do. Many new players learn tactics and tabletop  tricks by copycatting other players and things that work for them. Sometimes this highlights how they don't quite understand the fundamentals of the rules*. However the key is that if you play bad against them they might well not notice it and thus will assume your choices are sound choices and will start to copy cat them in their own games. 

2) It reinforces their own bad play. It means that they won't learn how to best use their own army because bad choices they make won't come with a penalty in the game; instead by playing bad you could even be rewarding their bad choices. This will seriously harm their learning as it means whenever they play anyone not intentionally losing to htem; they will get utterly thrashed and won't have a clue why tactics and choices that worked before are no longer working for them.

3) They can and might well catch on that you're losing intentionally. It's one thing to get tabled by a player with a good list playing well; its another to get offered wins by someone losing to you intentionally. That latter feeling is far worse because its not just them being beaten by someone better; but them being pitied upon and allowed to win because they really just are not good enough to win on their own. 

 

 

Now its perfectly fine to play smaller games and be up front and say "ok lets see how anti armour works etc.." and then field your armour units against his armies counter unit. In that situation its fine because its not a game so much as it is a showcase of what is going on; it lets you show them a specific thing and what does and doesn't work and who wins and loses doesn't really matter as you're showing mechanics rather than playing the game. 

 

 

 

*eg they might watch another KO player use the KO's anti armour units against a Stormcast armour unit. They then know that that specific unit works well against that other specific unit; but don't really understand "why" it works and thus can't adapt it to targeting the armour unit from another faction or even a different stormcast armour unit).

 

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10 minutes ago, Overread said:

One further thought to consider.

Sometimes when people introduce others to the game they try to help a newer person by losing games deliberately to that player. This might mean taking a very weak and poorly composed army and/or playing the game in a very sloppy/poor fashion. This giving the other player a really easy time in winning the match. 

DON'T do this. 

It's a bad idea for a few reasons:

1) Monkey see monkey do. Many new players learn tactics and tabletop  tricks by copycatting other players and things that work for them. Sometimes this highlights how they don't quite understand the fundamentals of the rules*. However the key is that if you play bad against them they might well not notice it and thus will assume your choices are sound choices and will start to copy cat them in their own games. 

2) It reinforces their own bad play. It means that they won't learn how to best use their own army because bad choices they make won't come with a penalty in the game; instead by playing bad you could even be rewarding their bad choices. This will seriously harm their learning as it means whenever they play anyone not intentionally losing to htem; they will get utterly thrashed and won't have a clue why tactics and choices that worked before are no longer working for them.

3) They can and might well catch on that you're losing intentionally. It's one thing to get tabled by a player with a good list playing well; its another to get offered wins by someone losing to you intentionally. That latter feeling is far worse because its not just them being beaten by someone better; but them being pitied upon and allowed to win because they really just are not good enough to win on their own. 

 

 

Now its perfectly fine to play smaller games and be up front and say "ok lets see how anti armour works etc.." and then field your armour units against his armies counter unit. In that situation its fine because its not a game so much as it is a showcase of what is going on; it lets you show them a specific thing and what does and doesn't work and who wins and loses doesn't really matter as you're showing mechanics rather than playing the game. 

 

 

 

*eg they might watch another KO player use the KO's anti armour units against a Stormcast armour unit. They then know that that specific unit works well against that other specific unit; but don't really understand "why" it works and thus can't adapt it to targeting the armour unit from another faction or even a different stormcast armour unit).

 

I think this is a good example as to why it's better to have games with beginners with the intent of walking through each phase with them than setting up as an adversarial thing, however friendly.

The best way to learn anything is to understand it yourself, and the best way to understand something is to get a good teacher. I've not got to that point with AOS but with other competitive things I've played such as MOBAS, Card Games and mini games, I always set up beginner games with people who want to learn in that way, and I show them what I'm doing and why, why it's a good move in the circumstances and why others are less optimal.

Most beginners dont want a challenge. They might think they do but given that their knowledge and experience is basically zero, the threshold of what a challenge is is going to be incredibly low.

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1 hour ago, Moonlightwolf said:

My main advice would be play smaller games to start with, 1000pts or even 500pts limits the amount of cheese that can be brought to the table and makes combos and battalions harder to pull off. A cheese list at 1000pts is usually dedicated to just one tactic and if you can spot it early enough you can often subvert it

The only problem I see for 500 games is playing KO without the option of using Friggates or Ironclads (let's be honest here, we play KO bc they are flying-steampunk-pirate dwarfs!). 

IMO, no ships, no party!!!!

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HE needs to play someone who's sympathetic. When I play players with good lists, I bring my best list. When I play players without battletomes, I bring a bundle of my favourite models for fun. It's no fun when there's that difference in player mentality and list strength. 

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